Body Hits and Blown Off Doors

Last week’s Episode 11 of Wynonna Earp “Gone as a Girl Can Get” took us down a Purgatory rabbit hole where Wynonna didn’t exist. In this alternate reality Waverly is still in the closet but Nicole hopes that she’ll escape before she walks up the aisle with Perry. Bobo is released from the asylum by “his angel” Waverly and all hell is breaking loose at the Earp homestead – now a Revenant clubhouse – with a dark side Doc running the show.  It’s Crazy Town. Earp homestead has been taken over

In this behind the scenes blog we’re going to talk about bullet hits – a practical effect that can be routine or spectacular. Easily the most emotional moment for us this episode was when Doc’s deadly aim hits Dolls and Doc’s look of astonishment and horror when he realizes Dolls isn’t wearing his body armour. Dolls retaliates and Doc receives a fatal shot in return. We’re hoping the alternate reality has temporary consequences.

Dolls gets hit by Doc in an alternate reality

When Dolls is hit, the impact, blood spiral, and body action were epic.  It’s a perfectly choreographed moment.  Here’s what SPFX Supervisor Leo Wieser had to say:

“All things conspired to make the body hit on Dolls visually fantastic. What we had were two “squib” effects placed on actor Shamier Anderson, one for entry and one for exit.  From studying forensics,  we know that a bullet may not just pass through a body in one straight line but may deviate course, bounce off bones, and delay and change the line of the exit.  With this in mind we staggered the timing on the two hits so that as the performer takes the hit, he then pirouettes around and a second hole opens up for the exit wound.

WynonnaEarp_gallery_211Recap_10We knew that this would be slow motion so timing was very tricky so that it didn’t read as a double shot.  We also knew that the consistency of the blood had to have a number of thixotropic qualities (see non Newtonian fluids). What usually happens with stage bloods that are thinned for such use is that the visual becomes what is lovingly referred to in the military as a “Pink Mister”.  Although realistic, this does not read as dramatically on film.  Here we made a special mix of our Bleeding Art Industries bloods with acrylic thickeners to achieve polymerization and to get a stringy ribbon effect.  We used the same mixture in Doc’s back hit, but the spread of multiple devices made more of an explosion of blood and flesh than a water spray.  As the name suggests, a “squib” hit utilizes a pyrotechnic driver to open and push the blood load out and into the air.  This effect is only for advanced and certified pyrotechnicians and should not be attempted without a high degree of experience.

The front doors blowing off the asylum when Bobo makes his dramatic exit, is an effect we worked hard to achieve. The effects was achieved with weighted pulls.  The doors were built to be light weight from wood materials and strung with high strength ropes.  To get the correct angle of trajectory, pully systems were set up to redirect the control point from where the door was calculated to fly.  Here the doors weighed about 30 lbs a piece and we did have to be very careful as to where they ended up as we didn’t want to injure any crew.  Testing of the rig was first done with sandbags, weighted to the same weight as the doors.  This would give us a good idea of strength of operator pull and final resting place of the doors.  When comfortable with the sand bags we went on to testing with the doors.  I have left the section of video intact showing a not so near miss between our operator Keifer and one of the doors.  We pride ourselves on safety and I wanted to show how incredibly important testing is to demonstrate repeatability and practicality of the effects we develop.  Even on the day, we were confident on the landing points of the doors, but we needed to take time to reassure the crews that we could do what we said we were going to do.  We had exact landings every time.

The behind the scenes demo testing can be seen here.

So what happens next? Showrunner Emily Andras talks to Entertainment Weekly about Episode 12, the finale for Season 2:

“It’s going to shake out in a blistering finale. Look, we have a lot of hanging threads that we are very excited to close off. You’re going to get answers on a lot of things you’ve been waiting to find out all season. We’re going to get… let me put it this way: We will get some closure on maybe what Waverly is.”

 “It is really emotionally taxing. I cried twice in the episode — which is pretty unusual for me because I’m very cold-hearted and I already know what’s going to happen. I hope it makes you feel things. At the same time, we now have the privilege of kicking off the new story for season 3. It’s definitely one of my favorite episodes of the year. It’s crazy y’all.  Brace yourselves.”

The final episode of Season 2 of Wynonna Earp airs on Friday, August 25th on Space and Syfy  10 pm ET, 8 pm MT. It is also available on iTunes. At Bleeding Art Industries, WE CREATE COOL. Check out our work @ www.bleedingartindustries.com, our Twisted Tales universe @ www.twistedstories.com, and our products @ www.shopbleedingart.com.

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Wynonna Earp Season 2, Episode 1: Hala Monster Kicks Off Second Season

Thousands of Wynonna Earp fans were rewarded for their patience on Friday night when Episode 1 of Season 2 (“Steel Bars and Stone Walls”) aired on Space and Syfy. It started right where Season 1 left off – with a bang: the echo of the gunshot fired by Waverly.

Instead of shooting at her beloved sister Wynonna, Waverly shot and killed the female Hala monster, a Bulgarian devourer of souls, one of the scarier creatures we have ever made. Below are a couple of pictures of the head in progress in our shop.

One of the challenges in creating this creature was figuring out a way for the actor, stuntman and MMA fighter Chris Lafantaisie, to see and breathe through an eye-less and nose-less headpiece. Alyssa, our talented head fabricator, made it happen by installing a coloured mesh behind the fleshy front. The VFX team contributed to the look after filming wrapped, and Season 2’s first demonic creature was made.

Hala head and body 121616Stuntman Chris Lafantaisie was impressive when his 6’5” frame was encased in the costume and head piece. His energy level and commitment to the Hala character included breaking through a glass case made of tempered glass that had been rigged with pyrotechnics. Often in film sheets of breakaway glass are used but this was not an option in this situation because of the size of the pane of glass.

Although it was brief, we loved the look of the tentacle egg that Waverly walked up to in the lab. As part of the construction of the glow in the dark egg, a pneumatic piston and airline were inserted to animate the creature in the egg. It was a great effect in the actual episode with the piston pushing the tentacles up and the airline making them move.

Wynonna Earp Season 2 tentacle egg
We had fun playing with our mini crew dude and the egg before it left the shop.

And lastly, the episode wrapped up with what everyone loves – and that’s a big bang of pyro. Doc’s dynamite is tickled by an unknown hand and – kaboom!

Episode 1 was jam-packed with action, launching the new season with explosions and monsters.  Follow our weekly blog for behind the scenes Practical SPFX and Prosthetics from each episode. Our next blog will be posted the week after Episode 2 “Shed Your Skin” airs on June 16.

Season 2 of Wynonna Earp airs on Space and Syfy on Friday nights 10 pm ET, 7 pm PT. It is also available on iTunes.

 

 

 

At Bleeding Art Industries, WE CREATE COOL. Check out our work @ www.bleedingartindustries.com, our Twisted Tales universe @ www.twistedstories.com, and our products @ www.shopbleedingart.com.

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The Crew Behind The Curtain

We’ve had a great time giving you a peek behind the curtain at the special effects and prosthetics for the first season of Syfy’s Wynonna Earp, which wrapped with a cliff-hanging season finale on June 24, 2016. By all accounts from comments by Wynonna and Bleeding Art fans, writing a behind the scenes blog for all 13 episodes, was enjoyed by many, giving people a glimpse into the work that goes on before the cameras roll and the episodes air.

Something like Wynonna Earp is not possible without the hard work and commitment of a great number of very talented people.  As mentioned in last week’s posting (“Mr. Bobo’s Wild Ride aka Things That Go Boom”), we would like to dedicate this blog to the Wynonna Special Effects team who tirelessly worked to bring fantastic images to your screen.

First to thank are Executive Producer/Showrunner Emily Andras, Producer Brian Dennis and Executive Producer Tom Cox who believed in what we could do and gave us the opportunities to push further.

Thanks to the Special Effects team of Wade Maurer, Josiah Buhler, Dominic Smart, Dylan Hobal, Jesse James Weber, Rob Gibney and all the other day players. Huge thanks to Alyssa Moor, Bleeding Art’s head fabricator who gave life to all the prosthetic work and kept the fabrication moving at breakneck speed through the run of the series.

(L to R, Top to Bottom: Dom Smart, Leo Wieser, Rob Gibney, Wade Maurer, Josiah Buhler, Alyssa Moor)

Although we’ve posted this before, we know people like the blood splatter videos so here’s one of the tests – one of the few shots we have of Dylan!

Thanks to the fantastic makeup team of Joanne Jacobsen and Gunther Schetterer for listening to Leo’s crazy ideas and for making such fantastical things work.

Thanks to Nancy who helped on the marketing end with getting these blogs fine-tuned and out there.

And finally to Becky Scott, co-owner of Bleeding Art Industries, for her own behind the scenes work keeping everything together from the office side during both the highest highs and lowest lows.

Well, Wynonna is done for a while, but definitely not forgotten.  A very vocal fan-based campaign to #RenewWynonnaEarp is up and running… and in fact “No Chill Week” – started by @WynonnaFans – began today with four days of sending feedback to SyFy. Have a read below and get tweeting and emailing!

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If you missed any of the episodes or to see them again, Season One of Wynonna Earp is available on iTunes by clicking here.

We invite you to follow the blog and read more about the eye-popping, brain-blowing, incredibly cool work we’re involved in, from train work on Hell on Wheels, to creature creations on Heartland, and lots more. Thanks for reading and for all the great comments!

From all of us at Bleeding Art Industries